Mercy Street on PBS- anyone watching?

The six-episode series premiered the other night; I hope I’m not the only one watching! I thought it was quite good, particularly the historical detail. They do not shy away from the gruesome details of surgery available at the time, but I felt they balanced it with decent character development (keeping in mind, of course, that we’ve only seen one episode).

Anyone else?

I have it recorded on my DVR but have not watched it yet.

Watched the first episode twice so far – PBS never airs anything just once.

Working backwards, I picked up at the end of the episode exactly what day it’s set, not just a generic 1862: the cheering soldiers mention Williamsburg, and there was a battle of Williamsburg on May 5, 1862. The Union considered it a victory because the Rebels retreated – hence the celebration in the show – but the Confederates considered it a covering action for their orderly withdrawal to Richmond. :stuck_out_tongue:

Random thoughts on the episode:

*The surgeons managed to use pretty much every title except the right one (baroness & baron) for the lead character and her late husband (duke, marchioness, etc.) in addressing her. That and the suckling pig thing – which went from funny to tiresome in only two iterations :slight_smile: – made me think the surgeons had mocked her around the lunch or operating table before she arrived (German baroness from Boston becoming a nurse!) and decided to get in a few tweaks to her face too.

*The Union officers living in the Green’s house were nervy trash-talking the war while wandering the halls. The two officers getting breakfast like two businessmen grazing a hotel breakfast bar (“Have you tried the jam?”) and suddenly realizing the Greens were sitting right there were hilarious.

*Does anyone think the nurse who claims to have worked alongside Florence Nightingale – and don’t you forget it! – is exaggerating her resume? She clearly picked up nursing skills somewhere, but I foresee a future visitor/letter/newspaper article bursting her “best buds with Flo” routine.

*Clearly they are setting up the head nurse and the contract surgeon for Moonlighting style “will they, won’t they” tension romance. He’ll start to see ex-slaves as more human, she’ll start to see slaveholders as more human. :slight_smile:

*In the same vein, there will surely be an incident where the black [del]physician’s assistant[/del] [del]orderly[/del] cleaning guy is seen performing with unquestionable medical skill by the contract surgeon, who will begrudgingly have to admit (1) savings lives is what counts, not who did it, (2) he’s got skills, and (3) maybe I shouldn’t look down on ex-slaves or presume every black person is an ex-slave.

*Loved the parallel of Dix interviewing prospective nurses and then the lead character mentoring the older Green daughter (forgot her name!) with the same focus on dressing practically rather than (in their humble opinion) frivolously. Also loved that the girl took the lead’s advice to heart; she wasn’t just being polite (or mocking) in the conversation but was sincere. She’s clearly in for a mind-broadening too. :slight_smile:

*Younger Green daughter with ringlets will surely hit the roof when she finds out eventually that her beau has been down the street in the hospital all along and her sister chose not to tell her. “Ahh coulda nuhsed heeem! Ahh SHOULDA nuhsed heeem!” :slight_smile:

The contract surgeon (Jed Foster) is played by the actor who was Ted in How I Met Your Mother. He’s apparently a morphine addict, which reminded me of the lead character in the Showtime series The Knick. I liked the show.

It was. And they got eggs while the family was stuck with stewed rhubarb. :slight_smile: Even funnier was the clueless Southern belle wearing a white dress with a hoop skirt to a military hospital where severed limbs are literally being thrown out of windows,

THAT’S it. I was determined to not look it up and just figure it out on my own. Thank you. :slight_smile:

Seems like a poor cousin to “The Knick”. Didn’t care for it.

I quite enjoyed it and am looking forward to Sunday’s installment.

However, I started binge watching “The Knick” yesterday and am getting the plots and characters mixed up in my brain :slight_smile: (“Knick” = set in 1900 hospital with Clive Owen as brooding, brilliant, cocaine-addicted surgeon surrounded by hyper-efficient nursies).

Is it just me or is he really coming off as Ted Mosby’s pretentious great-great-great grandfather? :dubious:

Been liking it, though the main character is too goody-goody. She needs some sort of class to make her interesting.

Some random thoughts on the second episode:

British nurse and the middle* surgeon as a “couple” reminded me of Burns and Hotlips in MASH, especially since (a) their “secret” relationship, umm, isn’t, and (b) the surgeon is the antagonist of the better-skilled but self-medicating contract surgeon. :slight_smile:

Relatedly, British nurse was as transparent as glass trying clumsily to seduce the contract surgeon once the chief surgeon told the middle surgeon to lay off and let contract surgeon do his job.

Head nurse going to confront the chiseling food supplier, both going to blows, and both having to be held back by their black subordinates. :slight_smile:

Mr. Green is unsympathetic to slavery but reluctant to sign the loyalty oath. :confused: I get that not all Southerners were pro-slavery, and lots of Union supporters were. But that’s still an odd combination.

Younger Green daughter finding out about her beau in hospital happened a lot sooner, but was a lot less of a blow-up, than I guessed.

Contract surgeon’s wife’s ultimatum sounds hollow: she’s going to move to frontier-ish California without her husband? Using what for fare, and what for income when she gets there?! Because the living is so much worse in Alexandria across the river from the capital than in pre-Transcontinental Railroad California?! :smack:

*Middle surgeon = not the contract surgeon and not the chief surgeon.


Mercy Street about a brilliant but abrasive medical professional who has issues with authority and has a drug problem.

**The Knick: **about a brilliant but abrasive medical professional who has issues with authority and has a drug problem.

**Nurse Jackie: **about a brilliant but abrasive medical professional who has issues with authority and has a drug problem.

House:about a brilliant but abrasive medical professional who has issues with authority and has a drug problem.

Mercy Street is sooooo very original!:stuck_out_tongue: